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Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities

Gretchen Case, PhD, MA

Our mission of the Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities (PMEH) is to prepare physicians and allied health professionals to provide respectful, humane patient care and to address current ethical problems in health care through education, research, and professional service.

The Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities was founded in 1989 and represents one of the most robust multidisciplinary collaborations at the University, now with 12 faculty members from 8 departments. PMEH officially became part of the Division of General Internal Medicine in 2018 in order to better align the clinical and educational missions. Gretchen Case, PhD, MA, is the chief of the Program.

Our PMEH faculty, staff, and associates bring interdisciplinary perspectives on medicine and health care from philosophy, law, communication, English, performance studies, disability studies, nursing, and pharmacy, as well as the medical specialties of pediatrics, psychiatry, and critical care. Faculty in our program have received national and international recognition for their research, including groundbreaking work on the legal treatment of psychopathy and on “humanizing” ICU care, and two of our faculty hold the rank of Distinguished Professor.

PMEH faculty teach widely in the School of Medicine and across the Health Sciences campus, including elective courses such as “Health Law for Non-Lawyers” and “Writing the Doctor-Patient Relationship.” PMEH offers graduate and continuing medical education ranging from noon conferences focused on ethical issues to regular Evening Ethics discussions to monthly meetings of the Physicians Literature and Medicine reading group.  Our program collaborates frequently with other campus entities, including the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the School of Law, the Department of Philosophy, UtahPresents, and the University Museum of Fine Arts, as well as Intermountain Health Care and other institutions beyond the University.